Journey: Amsterdam to Mexico City to Panama – Aeromexico – Economy & Business
PRE-DEPARTURE: Gate Gourmet in Amsterdam has been providing Aeromexico catering since the airline commenced services to Amsterdam in 2016. The airline operates daily services switching between Boeing 787-8s and 787-9s.
THE SEAT: Aeromexico is a full service airline, their marketing efforts highlight the fact that passengers receive complimentary drinks (including alcohol after 11am) and meals/snacks depending on the flight time. For flights under three hours in Economy a snack such as peanuts or cookies are served whilst flights up to six hours will include a hot meal service. It’s worth noting that the airline also serves Tequila shots on flights after 11am, but remember to sip, not skull!
THE EXPERIENCE: Each month the team at Gate Gourmet prepare 1100 Business and 7200 Economy meals for passengers travelling to Mexico City. And whilst the airline doesn’t offer any celebrity inspired chef dishes on the route from Amsterdam, Edmund Wong Man Ho owner of the Red Duck restaurant in Mexico City has created the menus that are served on flights to Shanghai, whilst Edo Kobayashi owner of Torobi Murasaki (also in Mexico City) has too created dishes which are served on flights from to Tokyo.
Overseeing the airlines onboard menus in Business is Enrique Olvera known for the famed Pujol restaurant in Mexico City, which in 2016 was ranked 25th among the worlds top 50 restaurants. Olvera has been overseeing the menus since 2014, he is a firm believer in using only fresh, quality ingredients that are free from preservatives or processing of any kind. Past dishes in Business have included: shrimp in garlic with red quinoa; filet of beef with carrot pico de gallo, couscous and snap-peas; breast of chicken with oregano chimichurri, wild rice and string beans; and lettuce, string bean and potato salad.
THE CATERING OFFER: For the Amsterdam to Mexico City route the airline aims to showcase dishes that have European influence. In economy that means offering of a chicken or pasta every flight, with seasonal fruit and a fresh salad on each meal tray. Outbound from Amsterdam I chose the chicken tikka masala, which was a tasty option. Main meals are apparently changed monthly. In Business there are two types of cold appetisers (that change monthly also) and a salad. Hot meal options always include at least three options such as chicken, fish and pasta. In between meals Business passengers can snack on sandwiches, savoury items as well as fruit trays, whilst in Economy sandwiches are on offer. There are a number of Mexican branded snacks and drinks, but also local beer Heineken, and in Business Stroopwaffels, the very popular Dutch sweet biscuit.
Prior to arrival in Mexico City breakfast was served to everyone. In Business it was a hot breakfast service of omelette or a cold fish plate. In Economy the hot breakfast is an omelette or scrambled eggs followed by a yoghurt and more fresh seasonal fruit.
Whilst in transit at Mexico City I experienced the Salon Première Lounges and noted the brand collaborations with brands such as Desertika Spa, Punta del Cielo, Corona and Maestro Tequila.
Punta del Cielo Café is featured heavily in the airlines lounge in Mexico City, the brand is dedicated to the production, sale and distribution of gourmet coffee from the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero and Veracruz.
THE VERDICT: Online reviews are not that favourable so I was interested to see how the airline is collaborating with well established brands and celebrity chefs to enhance its inflight experiences. All in all it was a good experience. The Economy meals were of a good standard and I was pleasantly surprised by the cabin crew service, and the hard product. Taking advantage on an upgrade offer from Mexico City to Panama, Business options included a hot or cold breakfast option and I had hot omelette with spinach and black beans, fresh fruit and a croissant. Whilst the omelette was a little bland, the rest of the meal tray offering was good. For a three + hour flight I felt the meal was a little basic for Business if compared with those experienced in Asia and Europe.